On Mar 2, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev met with representatives of foreign embassies and appeared with a number of initiatives.
More specifically, he suggested convoking a UN conference for confirming the principles of the international law and restoring confidence among UN nations. “We need a new efficient international security system. The UN should enhance its peacemaking role. It is time to update its charter, but, of course, all basic rules must be preserved,” Nazarbayev said. He urged UN nations to observe their obligations. “Unfortunately, this is not the case today. As a result, we are witnessing more and more conflicts,” the Kazakh president said.
He stressed the need to restore peace in Syria. “This will not be possible unless the parties meet their ceasefire commitments. We welcome the agreements reached by Russia and the United States on Syria and urge all parties involved to fulfill them. We are sure that this will lead them to long-term peace. What is going on in the Middle East today is vital for the whole world. The conflict in Syria is having negative impacts on the whole world community. We haven’t had so many refugees since WWII. The world is not at one in fighting ISIL. This is why we are suggesting creating a UN-sponsored global anti-terror network. Otherwise, we will not succeed in this fight,” Nazarbayev said.
One more crucial factor, according to Nazarbayev, is global demilitarization. “Everybody in the world understands that now that we are facing terrorism, we must curtail nuclear weapon tests. And here we need the example of the ‘nuclear five’. If they continue enlarging their nuclear arsenals, many more countries would seek to have nuclear weapons of their own so as to protect themselves. This is a very dangerous tendency. I think we need a joint effort here,” the Kazakh president said.
He said that Kazakhstan was among the key advocates of talks on the Iranian nuclear program and hosted two meetings. “We have also helped in implementing the joint action plan. On Dec 27, 2015, we supplied Iran with 60 tons of uranium as compensation for low-enriched uranium imported from that country. I am sure that this will contribute to nonproliferation, will confirm the rights of nations to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and will ensure access to nuclear fuel,” Nazarbayev said.
He said that Kazakhstan is interested in developing trade-economic relations with Iran now that the West has lifted its sanctions against that country. “I hope that our trade relations will develop. In fact, we have never stopped trading with Iran and have supported it in all of its endeavors. We are also committed to support Afghanistan, particularly, by developing infrastructure, training young specialists and developing political contacts,” Nazarbayev said.
He said that Kazakhstan will continue its multi-vector foreign policy. “We will continue our integration into global economic space. The Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt are expected to turn Kazakhstan into a hub in Eurasian. We are also committed to cooperate with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and will try to turn the CICA into a security organization in Eurasia,” Nazarbayev said.
He said that the United States is one of Kazakhstan’s priority partners. “The United States is one of our biggest foreign investors and we are going to enlarge our cooperation with that country. Our priority is also Central Asia. We urge Central Asian nations to unite for solving their common problems,” Nazarbayev said. He is sure that integration processes would be even more effective were it not for the economic crisis and the West-Russia sanctions war.
“The sanctions against Russia are affecting our economy. Our trade has dropped by 20-25%. One more factor affecting us is economic slowdown in China. Now that we are facing new reality – or new normality as they in China say – we have to get used to new oil, gas and metal prices. We must learn to live. This is not an easy job as people are very quick in getting used to good things and very slow in forgetting them,” Nazarbayev said.